51. Why not Italy??

I recently heard a mom recite the Emily Perl Kingsley poem, “Welcome to Holland.  This has been the mainstay of describing parental emotions for decades.  When I first heard it, I understood the message as a newbie parent and was also willing to accept that message and remain in Holland.  However, this time, thirty years later, I was struck with a different reaction when hearing it.

I started thinking things like:  Why can’t I go to Paris? and Who says I can’t go there? Why isn’t Italy  accessible if Holland is? and Who do I have to talk with to address this issue? Why hasn’t anybody addressed this issue yet?

The Duomo & Leaning Tower of Pisa, ItalySure, Holland is a nice place with windmills and tulips, but that wasn’t the ticket I purchased and as far as I am concerned, you can put my bags right back on the plane to Italy and issue me another boarding pass because I am not willing to settle for a segregated special place but rather equal access to the same places as my non-disabled peers.

I know I am treading on sacred mommy ground but I do wonder if this is the right message that seems destined to survive the test of time:  that simply because I have become a parent of a child with a disability, I should expect and be entitled to less than anyone else and accept the fact that Italy is only for others and not for me.  I’m sorry but I have never been able to accept that so make room in first class and see you in Italy or anywhere others go as I reject special and embrace equal.

Yes, I am an individual with a disability who is otherwise qualified to do what others do with reasonable accommodations.  Basic civil rights are not bestowed they are claimed.

This entry was posted in ADA, Disability, Inclusion, Independence, Self Determination, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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